Free vaccines for all in Rajasthan, Maharashtra decision soon
- Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday announced the state government will provide free Covid-19 vaccine to people above 18 years of age.
Rajasthan on Sunday joined at least 17 other states and Union territories in India to have announced to administer vaccine against the coronavirus disease free of cost to all adult population in the third phase of the vaccination drive starting on May 1, even as the Maharashtra government said that a decision on the matter was likely soon.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday announced the state government will provide free Covid-19 vaccine to people above 18 years of age. He said the state government will spend about ₹ 3,000 crore on the exercise. “The state government will provide free coronavirus vaccine to all people above 18 years of age in the state at the cost of about ₹3,000 crore,” Gehlot said.
Maharashtra minority affairs minister Nawab Malik, meanwhile, said that the issue was discussed at a cabinet meeting and a consensus regarding free vaccination for the state’s adult population was reached. “The state will require around 140 million vials to get this done and are planning it accordingly… Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday has said that they will call a global tender and will select the bidder that will provide the best vaccine at a lower price,” Malik said.
“We all had urged that the vaccine should be free for all. However, the decision has to be taken by the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray,” said revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat.
The statements from the two ministers came hours after a series of tweets by various state ministers announcing the government’s decision of providing free vaccinations were deleted.
Last week, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Sikkim said they will vaccinate the adult populations for free.